My Christmas Traditions


elliott meadows

Meadows Tree

Elliott Meadows, editor

Christmas has many traditions. Lots of people may have traditions you may have never even heard of. Some people may have traditions you may even think are kind of odd, but that is what makes a tradition fun. Some people may even do the exact same thing. Let me tell you about some popular traditions and even some of my own!

The Tradition of the Christmas Pickle

The tradition of the Christmas pickle. The tradition started when Woolworth started selling ornaments in the shapes of various vegetables. It started in Germany in the 1800s. The Christmas pickle would be the last ornament hung on the tree and the child who found it first got an extra present. Although this tradition started in Germany not too many people from there even know about it. 

There are also different stories of why the “Christmas Pickle” got started. One of the stories includes a fighter in the American Civil War. He was a POW, and he was starving. He had begged one of the guards for a pickle finally the guard gave in and gave him the pickle. This pickle somehow gave him the strength to keep on going through what he was going through.

The other story includes two Spanish boys traveling home from a boarding school for the holidays. They had stopped at an inn to sleep at for the night. The evil innkeeper killed both boys and put them both in a pickle barrel. On that same night St. Nick stopped at the same inn and found the boys in the barrel and brought them both back to life. 

The Tradition of the Christmas Tree

The tradition of the Christmas Tree. The Christmas tree goes all the way back to ancient Egyptian and Roman times. The Christmas tree got its first start in German when they lit them with candles and in the 1800s it made its way over to the U.S. Way before the advent of Christianity plants that remained green all year round had a special meaning to people. How people decorate their houses today with trees, ancient people would hang evergreen plants in their houses. Many people thought that hanging the evergreens in their homes would keep witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness away. Christmas trees are also grown in all 50 states including Hawaii!

Germany is credited with starting the tree tradition. It started in the 16th century when Christians would bring decorated trees into their homes. When wood was scarce some people would build Christmas pyramids and would decorate them with evergreens and candles. People believe that 16th century Protestant reformer Martin Luther was the first person to put lit candles on the tree. When he was walking home one night after composing a sermon, he saw the stars twinkling behind the evergreens. Once he was home, he put a tree up in his house and put lit candles on it. 

My Christmas Traditions

My family has never really had a set day or anything when we put our Christmas tree up. Some years it may be the day after Thanksgiving and some years it may be a week before Christmas. I guess that would be a tradition for us. Although we always do put up Christmas lights and decorations up around the house. I always enjoy going and driving around town and looking at all the houses with lights. 

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is going to my great grandma Cookie’s house on Christmas eve. We have gone to her house every Christmas eve for as long as I can remember. My mom said, “We have been going there for as long as I can remember.”  My sister even agreed with me saying, “This is definitely one of my favorite traditions too.” 

Another one of my traditions I really like is actually on Thanksgiving. It is helping my grandpa put Christmas lights and decorations up at their house. I have helped him do this for a few years now and although it is normally pretty cold when we do this, I still do enjoy it. My grandpa even said, “I really enjoy putting up the lights, it puts me in the Christmas spirit.” It always ends up looking really good. 

My all-time favorite tradition is my grandma Denise’s Christmas with her family. We always go to my grandparents’ house on New Year’s Day and have a big Christmas get together. This is one of my favorites because the whole family is there and although it is after Christmas it still keeps me in the Christmas spirit. 

After writing this it really put me even more in the Christmas spirit. Even learning a little bit about the tradition of the Christmas Pickle!